Product Manager Weekly Reading #24

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) How Photo App One Minute Grew to Over 22K Users In Just 10 Days

Katelan Cunningham, Editor at Brit + Co, reveals how Alex Kwon, founder of OneMinute, tested, built, and grew his app to 22K users in just 10 days.

2) Pre-totyping to Determine Product-Market Fit

In this interview, Alberto Savoia, former engineering director at Google, discusses the concept of “pre-totyping” (not prototyping) and how seed-stage startups might adopt it to find product-market fit more cheaply and effectively.

3) The Man Behind MakerBot on Finding Stories that Build Your Brand

Bre Pettis, founder of MakerBot, shares lessons from years of startup storytelling on crafting a foundational narrative to build your brand.

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Agile Estimation: Sizing Stories

The project has been funded, the team is assembled, and as PM you’ve written out feature stories based on your product roadmap. Now it’s time to talk specifics and figure out the amount of effort each story will take – will the team be able to complete everything in the given time frame?

In agile development, an estimate is a unit of measurement of the effort required to complete a user story. Estimation is important because it allows the PM (and the entire team) to figure out which stories to prioritize for the iteration and whether these stories can be feasibly completed within the span of that iteration.

Typically estimation happens collaboratively as a team, and the functions that work on a specific story give the sizing estimates for that story. Collaborative estimation helps ensure that teammates have a say in the process and are committed to completing stories on time. It also uncovers potential issues, unforeseen dependencies, and even possible shortcuts, since these estimations encourage open discussion.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #23

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) Behavioral E-mails That Keep Customers Coming Back – *Must Read*

In this spectacular post, Unbounce breaks down various real-life examples of using behavioral and trigger-based e-mails that keep customers coming back.

2) Early Product Metrics and Other Traction Things to Measure

Ben Erez, Project Manager at Life360, explains why each company should have personal metrics that make sense for their specific strategies and how these metrics change over each company’s lifespan.

3) Design Details: Tumblr for iOS

In his continuing Design Details series, Brian Lovin, Product Designer at Buffer, breaks down the subtleties of the design within Tumblr for iOS.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #22

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) Prioritize Product Development by the Four Stages of Use

Ben Yoskovitz, VP of Product at VarageSale, breaks down how he prioritizes feature development through ongoing engagement, onboarding, first user experience, and marketing/growth.

2) How to Amaze Your Users on the First Date

William Tran, Growth Engineer at Testlio, explains how to treat every new user like the first date and leave a lasting impression.

3) Can you MVP a Legacy Product?

Jeff Gothelf, Principal at NeoInnovate, discusses three things large companies should think about as they seek to leverage lean product development and MVPs to redefine product and innovation strategies.

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PMs & Metrics: Conversion Rate

As a PM, what are some important metrics to measure for your product? In each post of this series we’ll be covering a different metric, why this particular metric is important, and how it’s measured.

If you’re a PM of a website, a product that’s sold on a website, or an app, one of the most important metrics to measure is the conversion rate. Simply put, the conversion rate is the percentage of all visitors or users who take a desired action. One of the most common examples is the percentage of visitors who end up purchasing on a website.

Why is conversion rate such an important metric, not just for PMs but for the company as a whole? A solid conversion rate is indicative of a good user experience and means that the company is efficiently capturing sales. It’s the barometer of all the efforts spent to optimize the user experience through user research, A/B testing, interviews, etc. In other words, the conversion rate quantifies and validates whether the team’s efforts to improve that page or product has been successful. A higher conversion rate after a page redesign, all else equal, typically means that the redesign had a direct role in having more customers purchase the product.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #21

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) Great Digital Products Don’t Happen by Accident

David Gillis, Product Designer at Facebook, explains the relationship of ethos, pathos, and logos in building great digital products.

2) Steps for Prioritizing Your Experiment Backlog 

Hudson Arnold, Strategic Optimization Consultant at Optimizely, discusses a 3 step process for building out, prioritizing, and executing optimization experiments.

3) Leading Without Coding – *Must Read*

Aaron Schildkrout, Co-founder at HowAboutWe, lays out his how-to-guide for non-technical co-founders and product leaders. This is a must read for anyone interested in creating a technical company / product without technical expertise on the founding team.

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